Bingo

The octogenarians play bingo but do not hear the numbers being called. Even with their ear trumpets, they are stone deaf. It is only by fluke or premonition or both that they follow anything. It is this that gives my brothers and me the advantage at the church festival. We wear knickerbockers and derby caps and chew tobacco and spit. We fit in well. Bingo here is not like bingo elsewhere. Here bingo is a prehistoric place you go to die (as in, kaput), where the caller reads cancerous tumors and heart attacks in B-I-N-G-O and eulogies and wills in one through seventy-five. My grandmother dies of bingo last year on G-47, and I inherit her dauber. Her tombstone reads only this: Died on G-47. When my brothers and I win, though, we do not die. Our guises fool no one. We win porcelain serving platters and car wash coupon books. Prizes reserved for youth. The books we burn, and the platter I drop on Thanksgiving Day, the shards piercing the floor / my arms. Mother shrieks and Father scolds. You are a clumsy boy, he says. Bingo, I answer. I am sent to my room without supper, where I learn to play Chinese checkers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S p r i n g G u n P r e s s 2009

editor@springgunpress.com

 

 

 


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